MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has granted digital addressable system (DAS) licence to Tamil Nadu government-owned Arasu Cable TV Corporation on the affordability grounds.
“Affordability was the major factor granting the licence. Lots of customers would benefit from low cost of service,” I&B Minister Venkaiah Naidu told reporters at an event of All India Radio in Chennai.
While admitting that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had opposed granting licences to government-owned companies, Naidu said that the MIB decided to grant the licence keeping the consumer benefit in mind.
The minister also said that the government would take the concerns of private multi-system operators (MSOs) into consideration.
The MIB had granted DAS licence to Arasu on 17 April after keeping the MSO waiting for almost five years.
The MSO has been granted three months to complete digitisation of its analogue network.
The provisional registration is also subject to the MIB taking a final call on the TRAI recommendations suggesting barring a state government or its entities from entering the TV broadcasting and distribution sector.
Arasu had applied to the MIB for grant of DAS licence for Chennai and the rest of Tamil Nadu on 5 July 2012 and 23 November 2012 respectively.
Earlier this month, Arasu had floated a tender for procuring 70 lakh set-top boxes (STB). These include 60 lakh standard-definition (SD) STBs and 10 lakh high-definition (HD) STBs.
Arasu is also interested in getting price discovery for triple-play STB and Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (Docsis) cable modem.
The tender document can be purchased on all working days from 6 to 28 May, between 11 am and 3 pm. The date of opening of tender is 29 May. There will be a pre-bid meeting on 19 May at 3.30 pm at the head office of Arasu.